Thursday, August 13, 2009

How to make Orecchiette

For all you foodies, here's the secret to making authentic homemade pasta - find an old lady to do it for you. And then you can learn from her. Ours is the mother of our good friend Giuditta Mazzilli. Her mom was nice enough to come to the villa from the neighboring town of Giovinazzo to show us how "Orecchiette" are made. The recipe is very simple: semolina flour, a small amount of white flour, water and a pinch of salt. You add the water in small amounts because, as she wisely informed us, "you can always add more but you can't delete." Then you knead the dough, make long, tubular strips, cut little pieces with a butter knife and roll each piece on your forefinger and thumb as you cut the piece. Sound easy? Not so much. It's all in the finger roll.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Holy Week in Puglia

I know it's a long time since last Holy Week, but since I had some nice pictures and it's a wonderful experience, I thought I'd post it now. Most of the towns in Puglia still have rather amazing Holy Week ceremonies. I only attended the ones in Ruvo di Puglia and Terlizzi but I was mesmerized, nonetheless. The silence, the devotion of the spectators and the detailed statues that are brought out in the middle of the night is something not to be missed.

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Cappellis pay a visit.

Sorry that it's been so long since I've updated the blog but. But whatever. Here I am. In April, we were delighted to host an entire Cappelli clan. Actually, they were 2 different Cappelli clans since the Cappellis that came to visit are, unfortunately, not related to us Cappellis - not yet anyway.They came from Bronxville, NY, Scarsdale, NY and San Diego, CA. I have to say that although we don't think we're related, it really was like having an extended family stay with us. Lou Cappelli, the head of the family, was very intrigued when he discovered that his family on his grandmother's side most likely was originally from Terlizzi, as well. He was remembering Italian phrases in dialect from his childhood that could only have been from Terlizzi. The family's name was Baldassare which is a very common name in our town. They did some sightseeing but mostly we just did what most guests at the Villa do; we ate and drank and laughed and enjoyed our surroundings - those of nature and of humans.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Our Extra Virgin Olive Oil gets the DOP

After just four years, Villa Cappelli Extra Virgin Olive Oil has been granted the highly coveted EU designation of DOP - Denominazione d'Origine Protetta. If you look on your store shelves, you will find very few olive oils with this highly esteemed label. According to Wikipedia, DOP (or PDO for anglophiles — Protected Designation of Origin) "ensures that only products genuinely originating in that region are allowed in commerce as such. The purpose of the law is to protect the reputation of the regional foods and eliminate the unfair competition and misleading of consumers by non-genuine products, which may be of inferior quality or of different flavour. Foods such as Gorgonzola, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Melton Mowbray pork pies, Asiago cheese, Camembert de Normandie and Champagne can only be labelled as such if they come from the designated region."

As you can see, Villa Cappelli Extra Virgin Olive Oil is now in very exclusive company.

We are thrilled at our new seal that you will be seeing on our communications, packaging and website:

Hello blogosphere. After a couple of years of writing the villa blog (Life at the Villa) in a dimly lit corner of the cyber netherworld (Mac), I've been coerced to take it beyond friends and family - why should they be the only ones to suffer my drivel?